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HBO Premiere of “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Kraus” and Holocaust Memorial Event at Temple Emanu-El

Myth-busting was an unexpected bonus at the April 3 New York premiere of HBO’s documentary “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Kraus” held at HBO’s New York headquarters. Among the guests: film director Steven Pressman, film narrator Alan Alda and Dr. Edwin Tepper and Henny Wenkart, whom the Krauses brought to the U.S. from Vienna in 1939. Pressman, who is married to the Krauses’ granddaughter Liz Perle, lauded the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum as an “invaluable partner.” Museum director Sara Bloomfield, who welcomed multigenerational members of the Kraus family, said [the museum] was delighted to be a part of this film. “This is a lucky film for us…a lucky break for HBO,” Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films told the guests. “What makes you cry [and] breathe in this film is the nobility of the Krauses who saved 50 children. Can you imagine giving your child away …to cross the Atlantic with strangers!”

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Marc Spiegel Plays Emanuel Ringelblum for U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

More than 2,000 survivors attended the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s daylong program of Holocaust-related films and workshops at the New York Hilton on March 3.

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Merryl Tisch Toasted and Jamie deRoy and Friends Performance

“There are three paths to being an educator — a teacher, an academic or a policymaker,” Lincoln Center Chair Katherine Farley said of honoree Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, at the March 5 Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education Gala. “She had been all three… and has a parallel career in philanthropy, with health care, education and the arts the focus of her generosity.”

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Rhodes Scholar Ronan Farrow, Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari and Heinz Ketchup on the Menu at National Committee on American Foreign Policy Gala

“It seems like just yesterday I was wet behind the ears, a 23-year-old running a State Department bureau,” Ronan Farrow, the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, told the 270 guests March 5, at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy’s gala. Held at the Plaza, the gala was co-chaired by Paul Volcker. “The problem was,” Farrow said, chuckling, “it was yesterday!”

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Lena Dunham's Purim Shpiel and 'Two by Two'

Wearing a sleeveless silver-and-black sequined dress that showcased her tattoos, 26-year-old Lena Dunham, creator and star of the HBO Series “Girls,” exclaimed “Welcome to my bat mitzvah!” to the 1,000-strong festive crowd at the Jewish Museum’s Purim Ball, titled “Who Wears the Crown?”

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NJOP Debate and Valentine's Salon

Guests at the National Jewish Outreach Program’s silver anniversary dinner on February 5 were told to “fasten [their] seatbelts” in anticipation of the debate on the state of American Jewry between NJOP founder and director Rabbi Efraim Buchwald and atheist philanthropist Michael Steinhardt.

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Remembering Vladka Meed

“This is a celebration of a life lived,” said David Posner, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, in his invocation at the February 3 “Memorial and Celebration of an Extraordinary Life — Vladka Meed, 1921–2012,” held at the synagogue’s Lowenstein Auditorium.

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“Superman at 75” Unmasks the Superhero as a Jew from the Planet Krypton

On January 27, Superman fans—many sporting Superman logo T-shirts—landed on Krypton, also known as the Center for Jewish History for a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of Superman.

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Remembering Joseph Landis and Gilbert and Sullivan's Amy Maude Helfer

Were it not for Queens College professor Joseph Landis, who died January 6, at the age of 95—Isaac Bashevis Singer and his wife, Alma Singer, might never have come to my home for a vegetarian Friday-night dinner of eggplant parmesan casserole.

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Remembering Jack Klugman, A Jewish Pastry Chef and an Animated Dutch Gem

Of my encounters over the years with actor Jack Klugman, who died at 90 on December 24, 2012, I vividly recall the February 1998 Annual Theatre Hall of Fame ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre, at which Tony Randall was an honoree. Introduced by Rudy Giuliani, who then was New York City’s mayor, Randall — who was at the time starring with Klugman on Broadway in a revival of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” — lamented, “America did not have a classical repertory theater akin to Israel’s Habimah or France’s Comedie Francaise.” Klugman, who was sitting a few seats away, next to Lauren Bacall, seemed amused. In the 1970s, Klugman and Randall starred in the popular TV sit-com “The Odd Couple,” which was a template for the oil ad vinegar personality duo in “The Sunshine Boys.” Klugman portrayed the slob, Oscar Madison; Randall was deliciously annoying as the fastidious neatnik, Felix Unger.

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Yeshiva University Hanukkah Convocation and Remembering Adrienne Cooper

Nearly 1,000 guests crowded into the Waldorf-Astoria’s Rainbow Room for Yeshiva University’s 88th Annual Hanukkah Convocation on December 16, 2012, at which President Obama’s chief of staff, Jack Lew, recipient of an honorary Doctor of Law degree, was the keynote speaker.

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American Jewish Historical Society Dinner and Open University Foundation Gala

“I’m sorry I could not bring George with me tonight, but I’ve got him working on our film,” said Robert Edsel, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation and a special guest at the American Jewish Historical Society’s 2012 Emma Lazarus dinner, held on December 10 at the Center for Jewish History. Edsel was referring to George Clooney, who is directing and starring in a major motion picture based on the book, “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” (Center Street/Hachette 2009), written by Edsel and Brett Witter.

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YIVO Gala; Food Allergy Initiative Ball; and Business Dynasty Gala

“I’m not Franco-centric, but you understand from my Gallic English that I am French,” said Baron David de Rothschild, honoree at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s 87th Benefit, which was held at the Center for Jewish History on December 4.

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Museum of Jewish Heritage Dinner and Alliance Francaise Gala

An accident of scheduling placed tonight’s dinner exactly at midpoint between Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah, when we are reminded of miracles,” said David Marwell, director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, at the museum’s 24th annual Generation to Generation Dinner, held on November 29 at the museum.

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"My Name is Asher Lev," America-Israel Friendship League Dinner and Remembering Vladka Meed

“I just saw your makheteyneste, “ I told the designer Ralph Lauren — who was clad in jeans, black turtleneck and a leather jacket — at the opening night of “My Name Is Asher Lev,” presented at New York City’s Westside Theatre. I was referring to his mother-in-law, Sharon Bush, whom I has just seen on November 19 at the Rabin Medical Center dinner. Last year, Lauren’s younger son, David Lauren, married Lauren Bush, granddaughter of former president George H.W. Bush.

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Rabin Medical Center Gala, The Golden Land and Music for Medicine

“We gather together tonight to pay tribute to the wonderful friendship between Israel and the United States and to support the Rabin Medical Center,” said TV interviewer Charlie Rose, master of ceremonies of the November 19 American Friends of Rabin Medical Center’s 13th annual gala.

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Honoring Ron Perelman and Remembering Isaiah Sheffer

As harp and violin music played gently in the background, the buzz among the 500 black-tie guests at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation’s 95th anniversary dinner, which, held on November 11, raised $2.2 million, was about the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

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Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of Exiles

Zetst zikh avek!” — “Sit down!”— said Zubin Mehta, music director and conductor for life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in beautifully articulated Yiddish at the American Friends of the IPO dinner, held at The Plaza. The dinner followed the IPO’s October 25 Carnegie Hall concert.

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Ben Kingsley and Elie Wiesel Share Stage at U.S. Holocaust Museum’s New York Dinner

A rare treat for me at the October 23 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum New York Tribute Dinner, held at The Pierre, was a private pre-dinner chat with Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley and the museum’s founding chairman, Elie Wiesel.

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David Broza Hails Tom Peled at Israel Cancer Research Fund Event

“You know what they say about Israelis — that they are always late.

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